We All Hold Torches of Championship

Yesterday, CancerForward was fortunate to be recognized by Texas Children’s Cancer Center as its 2011 Torch of Champions Honoree. The occasion was the 4th Annual Celebration of Champions Luncheon which salutes survivors who have been treated at the Center. The event raises important funding for family-centered care for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders.

CancerForward was very proud to be a part of the day. Championing cancer survivors is what we’re all about. It’s very important that every person who has survived a cancer diagnosis knows that there are people who are supporting them not merely to overcome cancer, but to be the BEST cancer survivor he or she can be.

When I rang the bell at MD Anderson Cancer Center after my final radiation treatment just about 10 years ago, I was thrilled and relieved that my treatment was over. Who wouldn’t be? I was at the end of a year-long regime, and I was cancer free. Yet, I was scared and apprehensive about the days and the years ahead. Yes, I was at the beginning of a new phase of my life, but I was also at a new phase of the cancer cycle… that of survivorship… and I didn’t know how to face that. I was still connected to cancer and I knew that I would be for the rest of my life.

So, with all the stubbornness I’m told I have in me, I determined if I was going to be a cancer survivor, I was going to be the best cancer survivor I could be.

“Be the best cancer survivor I can be.” That might seem an odd statement to some. Here’s why I think it’s not:

How a cancer survivor chooses to live life as a survivor in part determines his or her long-term physical, psychological and social success in cancer survivorship. The concept of living, even thriving, beyond cancer is ignored by some….misunderstood by others… and limited for many because of lack of resources. To shine a light on healthy survivorship is in part why CancerForward was founded.

Through our educational programs and resources, our features and stories about survivors and through The Survivor Network on CancerForward, it’s the Foundation’s goal to help all cancer survivors become aware of, understand, and have access to the information and services needed to help improve their survivorship. We exist not only to improve overall quality of life, but to prevent reccurrence of cancer and the onset of secondary cancers. A part of our job is to promote screening, cancer prevention, research and healthy life education….but it is our mission, it is our joy… to help every cancer survivor be the best cancer survivor he or she can be.

We all hold torches of championship. Grab your torch and hold it to light the path with education and access for other survivors. I bid that in doing so, you will take a huge first step in being the best you can be….in cancer survivorship.

Category: Cancer

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